Main content area

Heavy metal fractionation and ecological risk implications in the intertidal surface sediments of Zhelin Bay, South China

Gu, Yang-Guang
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.129 no.2 pp. 905-912
cadmium, chemical speciation, copper, fractionation, heavy metals, littoral zone, manganese, mariculture, pollution load, risk, sediments, toxicity, water pollution, zinc, China
Intertidal surface sediments collected from Zhelin Bay, the largest mariculture base of eastern Guangdong Province of China, were analyzed for total metal concentrations and chemical speciation. Average total metal concentrations (mg/kg) were 0.063 (Cd), 35.69 (Pb), 23.07 (Cr), 7.50 (Ni), 7.95 (Cu), 74.95 (Zn), and 751.32 (Mn). Concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, and Mn were significantly higher than the corresponding background values of Zhelin Bay. All studied metals were dominated by residual fractions, whereas the second relatively higher average portions of Cd (24.10%) and Mn (15.17%) were strongly associated with the acid-soluble fraction. Overall, the intertidal surface sediments of Zhelin Bay were only slightly polluted based on the pollution load index (PLI), with a 21% probability of toxicity based on the mean effects range–median quotient. The metals Cd and Mn posed medium to high risk levels based on the method of risk assessment code (RAC).